featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Our globe-hopping guest travel editor Dr. Kelle Z. Riley is back with us today with a very unique New Year’s resolution, one I plan to take her up on. -- AP

Greetings fellow travelers!  I hope you all recovered from our whirlwind shopping trip last month.  Here in my Tennessee home, nature gifted us with a White Christmas and the perfect winter, one that lasts only about 3-6 weeks.  Despite this, January is overcast and gloomy—and brings with it the pressure to make resolutions.

I’ve given up on New Year’s Resolutions.  How many of you make them?  How many keep them?  I confess there was only one New Year’s Resolution (out of many) that I actually kept.  Before I reveal it, you need to know a little about me. 

Generally, I have two speeds:  all out and full stop.  Life is short, so I throw myself into it.  For example: I earned a Ph.D. in chemistry, taught at a graduate level, and worked in industry doing research, teaching, engineering, and sales support revolving around water purification and use.  It was tough but fun.

I also earned a third-degree black belt in Karate, developed and sponsored self-defense workshops, taught at a women’s shelter and obtained certification with a national self-defense training organization.  From that I developed my passion for raising awareness about Domestic Violence and its prevention.  And all of this in spite of my two left feet!

Then, I started writing.  One novel, a handful of short stories and a closetful of manuscripts later, I’m still writing, developing workshops on craft and striving to perfect my skills.

Oh, and in between all of this, I dabbled in house buying and remodeling (laying bricks was more fun than installing linoleum), wedding planning (my own), community and charitable activities and just about anything else that presented itself.

Which brings me to the NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION.  During a hyperactive phase, where I took time out only to eat and sleep, I resolved to relax on the couch and read more books.  Seriously.  I resolved to be lazy.  You’d think it would be easy, but I struggled to keep it.  Eventually I achieved a better (though far-from-ideal) balance between doing and not doing. 
So, instead of striving to do more, be more or get more, this year, I’ve decided to appreciate what I have more.  To count blessings instead of short comings.  To balance accomplishments with goals.  And to continue to read more books.

So what about you?  Won’t you join me in declaring January “Curl-Up-And-Read-A-Book-Month?”  Because really, there is nothing in life that can’t be made more bearable by a cup of hot tea (or cocoa or coffee) and a satisfying book.  We all deserve some time out to replenish ourselves.

If you agree, please comment with your suggestions of a great book for January reading.  And I’ll see you next month, when I’ll share some of the romance of Paris, just in time for Valentine’s Day.  Happy Reading!

So readers, what do you think? Ready to curl up and read a book for Curl-Up-And-Read-A-Book-Month? Might I suggest you start off by picking up a copy of Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun, the book about yours truly? Whatever book you decide to read, don’t forget to post a comment to be entered in the drawing this week for a book by our Book Club Friday guest author. -- AP


petite said...

Thanks for this enjoyable post. I agree fully. Nothing can compare to a cup of tea and a juicy book that is captivating. One that I would enjoy and look forward to is Sarah's Key. Best wishes and Happy New Year.


Thanks for stopping by, petite!